The Atlas of Middle-earth
Dust wrapper, first edition
|Author||Karen Wynn Fonstad|
|LC Class||G3122.M5 F6 1991|
The Atlas of Middle-earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad is an atlas of J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional realm of Middle-earth. It was published in 1981, after Tolkien's major works The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.
The Atlas includes many detailed maps of the lands described in those books. There was a revised and updated second edition in 1991, after publication of eight volumes in The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien after his father's death. Four volumes of The History followed it, however. A third edition was published in 2001.
The maps are treated as if they are of real landscapes, drawn according to the rules of a real atlas. For each area the history of the land is taken into account, as well as geography on a larger scale and from there maps are drawn. Discussion includes suggestions as to the geology that could explain various formations, and points that are contradictory between multiple accounts.
City maps and floor plans for important buildings are also included.
Karen Wynn Fonstad had earned a master's degree in Geography, specializing in cartography, from the University of Oklahoma, and worked as Director of Cartographic Services at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh before "retirement" to raising children and writing atlases of fictional worlds. The Atlas of Middle-earth was her first of five atlases. (Her 1984 acknowledgments for The Atlas of Pern would include "my husband, Todd, associate professor of geography", the UW Oshkosh Department of Geography, several UWO faculty members.)
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